Chicago Coronavirus

Memorial Day Weekend: Things to Do Around the Chicago Area

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With sunshine on the way and COVID-19 vaccinations increasing, activities around the Chicago area are seeing a return Memorial Day weekend.

From beaches to farmers markets, Chicagoans will likely be able to feel a taste of normalcy over the holiday as businesses and events reopen citywide.

Take a look at things to do across the city and around the area this weekend:

Visit a Farmers Market

As the city continues its reopening plan, farmers markets across Chicago have begun welcoming residents back for the 2021 season.

Though some markets have not announced official plans for a summer reopening, others have released schedules and information concerning the upcoming kickoffs following closures last year due to the COVID pandemic.

Catch a Baseball Game

Take a trip to Chicago's South or North Sides to catch a White Sox or Cubs game as fans can now fill the stands at a limited capacity.

Guaranteed Rate Field can hold 22% of fan capacity while adhering to social distancing protocols, allowing six feet of distance between pods of fans at their games, according to a team spokesperson. Meanwhile, at Wrigley Field, is limited to 20% capacity with additional safety requirements.

Saturday and Sunday the White Sox play the Orioles at 1:10 p.m., both of which are expected to be sunny with high temperatures in the mid 60s and 70s. The Cubs are set to host the Reds Saturday and Sunday at 1:20 p.m., then the Padres at the same time Monday.

Enjoy a Unique Art Exhibit

This summer, Chicago is welcoming a variety of new, unique art exhibitions to the city, including "Michelangelo Sistine Chapel Exhibition" and "Immersive Van Gogh."

Aside of special special exhibits, the city's renowned art museums are now open as well, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. MCA will also kick off Tuesdays on the Terrance on June 1, a concert series in the heart of the city.

Take a Trip to Outer Space with Art on theMart

For those who would rather stay outdoors to view art, the 2021 season of Art on theMart runs through July 4, featuring the new "Astrographics" digital production in partnership with the Adler Planetarium.

The 16-minute digital light performance explores outer space, featuring an array of planets, stars and more sights, according to a release. Art on theMart officials said the show will display how humans imagine their universe over time.

Take a Swing at Maggie Daley Park's Miniature Golf Course

Maggie Daley Park’s 18-hole, Chicago-themed miniature golf course, and ribbon is open daily. In the summer, the ribbon is transformed to welcome scooter users, rollerbladers, and roller skaters. Weekend rentals are now available.

The park will offer daily rentals starting on May 28. Concessions at Maggie Daley Park will also be open. For details about Maggie Daley Park activities, visit

Enjoy a Bite to Eat Outdoors at One of the City's Al Fresco Dining Spaces

As the city warms over the next few months, Chicagoans will likely be on the hunt for places to wine and dine outdoors. The city is known for its foodie scene, filled with plenty of patios and rooftops.

Choose Chicago has offered up a list of places currently offering outdoor dining in Chicago. Here are some highlights:

Avli Taverna: 1335 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Beatrix Fulton Market: 834 W Fulton Market
Beatnik on the River: 180 N Upper Wacker Dr.
Aba: 302 N. Green St. 3rd Floor
Ema: 74 W Illinois St.
Mesler: 1401 E. 53rd St.
The Duck Inn: 2701 S. Eleanor St.
Theater on the Lake: 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Beatnik on the River: 180 N. Upper Wacker Dr.
BOKA: 1729 N. Halsted St.
Formento's: 925 W. Randolph St.
Siena Tavern: 51 W. Kinzie St.
Offshore: 1000 E Grand Ave
Wood: 3335 N. Halsted St.
Happy Camper: 1209 N. Wells St.
Tzuco: 720 N. State St.
LuxBar: 18 E. Bellevue Pl.

Drive Through a Dino Safari

Fox Valley Mall has been transformed into Pangea National Park this month, featuring more than 40 life-size dinosaurs, organizers say.

From the Triceratops to the T. Rex, Dino Safari takes guests through a journey, learning about how dinosaurs evolved over time, where they lived and what their lives looked like.

The company recommends reserving tickets in advance, which begin at $49.95 per vehicle.

Enjoy a Live Performance

Pivot Arts Festival is featuring the show Utopian Performance Tour, bringing a small, masked group through a gallery-like exhibition of video installations and live works.

Sail Through a Chicago Architecture Tour

Take in the city's iconic architecture while sailing along the Chicago River on one of several boat tours. The 90-minute tours run every hour and a half and cost $40 for an adult and $18 for a child.

Due to COVID-19 mitigations, the Wendella boat tours require that passengers wear a face covering while on the vessel and practice social distancing.

Watch Fireworks Light Up Chicago's Iconic Navy Pier

In celebration of the reopening, Navy Pier will also host a 10-minute fireworks show every Saturday in May. The shows are set to start at 9 p.m., and guests will be allowed to watch the displays from Navy Pier's open spaces.

During the initial phase of reopening, Navy Pier will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. New rides will open in "the coming weeks," and the rest of Navy Pier will reopen "sometime in May."

Guests will be required to wear a face mark at all times and encouraged to keep a six-foot distance between others not in the same party. All Pier Park rides and attractions will operate at a limited capacity and will be cleaned after each use, according to Navy Pier.

Take a Road Trip to a New Destination in Illinois

As part of the state's progress in toward a full reopening, officials launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging road trips throughout Illinois, providing an approved travel itinerary for each destination.

Through the Illinois Office of Tourism, the Time for Me to Drive campaign details more than 60 planned trips, organized by categories and duration of stay.

Hit the Beaches

Memorial Day weekend marks the reopening of Chicago beaches, a major signal summer is on the way.

The more than two-dozen beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline will reopen Friday, said Mike Kelly, superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. The city's beaches were closed during the summer of 2020 in line with COVID-19 restrictions.

Kayak Down the Chicago River

Trying to see the city's skyscrapers from a new angle? Guided kayak tours and rentals give you a trip down the Chicago River into Lake Michigan.

Visit a Rainbow Cone Ice Cream Truck

The city's iconic Rainbow Cone ice cream shop is taking to the streets this summer with trucks already traveling across the Chicago area.

Four Rainbow Cones on wheels, each truck named after one of the colorful ice cream layers, can be found at various locations around the city and suburbs.

For the remainder of the week, two trucks will be in Mount Prospect and Bolingbrook from 4 to 10 p.m.

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